Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Year Released: 2000
After the jaw-dropping, unsightly profits and press The Sixth Sense made, you knew Philly-born director M. Night Shyamalan would go back to the drawing board and try to come up with something similar. The result is Unbreakable, a film that starts off wonderfully and then gets gradually worse as it goes along. The problem is with its plausibility (or lack thereof) - I wasn't really buying a lot of the second and third acts, nor the shady Samuel L. Jackson character, a comic book collector (one scene has him holding a show of all the comic art, with many bourgeois-types milling about with champagne and hors d'oeuvres - since when did Frank Miller become the next Renoir?) who takes a hearty interest in the Bruce Willis character, sole survivor of a train wreck. Throughout, nonsense abounds: the scene where Willis' son tries to shoot him is too ridiculous for words, and provoked a lot of laughter, as does the MTV-type sequence near the end with slow-motion, techno music and mind/soul reading in which Willis plays Jesus-for-the-bereft. The ending, in particular, comes across as both forced and confusing, with Shyamalan trying to pull another fast one on you like the last film he made - unfortunately, it fails (thinking about it for extended periods of time causes the entire movie's concept to crumble). There are some good things, though - Willis is wonderfully subdued, as is his wife, played by Robin Wright Penn, and the cinematography, by Eduardo Senna, is cold, serene and helps maintain a surreal mood throughout.